The world of central banking descended on historic Whitehall last night to recognise the achievements of their international community and to pay tribute to a towering figure of international finance of the past four decades.
A total of 14 awards were handed out at this year’s Central Banking Awards dinner, celebrating achievements of people in both the public and private central banking sectors.
The Lifetime Achievement Award for 2015 went to Jacques de Larosière (pictured above right), who treated the audience to a host of anecdotes from his time atop some of the most prominent monetary institutions across the globe.
He delivered a candid account of his time as IMF managing director in an after-dinner conversation with Christopher Jeffery (pictured above left), Central Banking’s Editor-in-Chief, before offering a critique of the “anti-system” governing international monetary relations.
The former Banque de France Governor also gave a glowing assessment of the Central Banking Journal, now in its 25th year, describing it as an “institution” within the community.
One big winner was the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, with Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand flying half-way around the world to collect the award for Central Bank of the Year.
Bank of Canada’s Senior Deputy Governor, Carolyn Wilkins, collected the award for Website of the Year on behalf of her institution, with her comments on the importance of harnessing new technologies in central bank communications going down particularly well with the audience.
Deputy Governor Daniel Mminele accepted the Reserve Manager of the Year award on behalf of the South African Reserve Bank, noting that there was no greater accolade than being recognised by and among peers.
While Raghuram Rajan, Reserve Bank of India Governor, and Claudio Borio, Head of the Monetary and Economic Department at the Bank for International Settlements, could not attend the dinner, both took the time to film video messages for the event, where they set out their priorities for the coming year – perhaps an early bid to retain their respective awards for Governor of the Year and Economics in Central Banking.
Two-time award winner Terrence Keeley, who collected Asset Manager of the Year on behalf of BlackRock in both 2014 and 2015, delivered another typically polished speech emphasising the importance of good client relationships.
The biggest laugh of the evening was reserved for a representative of Eurex Clearing, collecting the award for Payments and Market Infrastructure Provider of the Year, who relayed a conversation with his daughter earlier that day. Telling her that he was due to deliver an acceptance speech, his daughter mused that “dads were rather like central banks”, in that “both should be seen and not heard”.